A common injury in workers’ compensation is a “trip and fall” or even a “fall” injuring oneself. There are many occasions upon which an Employee who sustains a “trip and fall” injury can claim workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, falls, without a trip or a slip, which result in injury, may also give rise to a workers’ compensation claim and an entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits.
This article is intended to discuss the various scenarios upon which a “fall” may give rise to a workers comp claim and entitlement to benefits. A valid and accepted workers’ compensation case can give rise to an entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits which including total temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, medical care, job displacement benefits and death benefits if indicated.
If the Trip and Fall was my fault, Do I still have a valid claim?
Yes. Workers Compensation is a “no-fault” system. Therefore, even if the trip or slip was the Injured Worker’s fault, it can be considered as work-related.
If I Fell and Don’t Know Why, Do I have a Valid Claim?
This question led to one of the most classic workers’ compensation case law. The case involved someone who fell but due to non-industrial reasons. The Court indicated that “[t]he fact remains that he injured himself while at work, on his employer’s premises, the injury being the striking of his head against the floor, a condition incident to the employment. His condition may have been a contributory cause but it was not the sole cause of his injury. It would not be doubted that if an employee fell to the ground or floor in the course of his employment, and as a result was injured, the injury would be compensable whether the cause of the fall was a slippery or defective floor, or was due to nothing more than his innate awkwardness or even carelessness. Certainly, resolving all doubts in favor of the commission’s finding that the injury arose out of the employment, compels an affirmance of the award.” See Employers Mut. Liability Ins. Co. v. I.A.C. (1953) 18 Cal. Comp. Cases 286 This case contains very strong language to support the finding of slip and fall injuries as being industrial.
Are all Slip and Falls or Trip and Falls valid claims?
No. A careful analysis must be done with respect to whether a claim is valid. A requirement to all claims is that they are considered to arise out of and in the course scope of employment. This is also known as AOE/COE. A fall in an employee parking lot may be considered to be AOE/COE. A fall when going on a lunch break, however, might not be considered as AOE/COE. Analysis with a knowledgeable attorney is of import.
What Benefits Can be Received?
Since workers comp is a “no-fault” system, a trip and fall or slip and fall injury is entitled to the full away of workers’ compensation benefits. This includes temporary disability benefits, the provision of medical care, permanent disability, job displacement voucher, and death benefits.
If you would like a free consultation regarding workers compensation law, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 26 years. Contact us today for more information.
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